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SVT attack
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SVT attack

Hello, I am a 27 year old female. I have just experienced my first Supraventricular Tachycardia(SVT) attack. I was just walking down the hall at work and became very dizzy, sweaty, and it felt as though my heart was pounding out of my chest. Luckily I work at a hospital so I wired myself up to a cardiac monitor and my heart rate was 168, by the time I was wheeled to the Er my rate had jumped to 223! They gave me an Adenosine injection and within 1 minute my heart was in normal sinus rhythm. But I still felt short of breath, my arms were tingly, and still felt light-headed so they proceeded with an EKG( Normal Sinus), a chest xray-(clear), a CT checking for a P.E.(Clear). My blood work was a bit screwy...the major concers were that my D Dimer was +1592 and My potassium was low. I was also given a Echocardiagram after a day of still feeling a bit light-headed and short of breath, and fatigued. (Normal results). I was given a clean bill of health and was told that another bout of SVT may or may not reoccur. I was also told that my fatigue and SOB was still my body readjusting. That such trauma on the heart releases hormones that will make you feel pretty crappy for a few days. And that I need not follow up with a cardiologist.
It has been 2 days since my SVT occurence and I am still feeling fatigued and like I need more air, like I am short of breath. I feel a slight tightness in my chest.
My question to you is, IS THIS NORMAL, and when will these feelings start to dissipate?
Please get back to me with your thoughts/concerns and or advice.
Nicole
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hello Nicole,

It is true that people respond to situations like this differently.  I have patients that feel a fatigued for a day or two after the SVT -- it can be a pretty stressful event, as you now know.

If the shortness of breath continues for a much longer, you should see a doctor.  I doubt this is anything serious, but it is much easier to evaluate face to face. The fact that the SVT started suddenly and terminated with adenosine suggest that this was a specific subset of SVT and is usually very treated with ablation.  I agree that this is only a concern if it happens again and either you do not want medical therapy or if medical therapy fails.  Medical therapy is usually with a beta blocker, calcium channel blocker, or other antiarrhythmic medication.

Thanks for posting and good luck



26 Comments
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170935_tn?1225374676
Hi, i am also 27 years old and recently diagnosed with svt. i also have been given a clean bill of health and told not to worry. After the SVT attack it took me about 5 weeks to get over the attack and accept it and then i had another one! now i'm still coming to terms with this one!
i'm really struggling this time because i am now suffering from missed beats too. i was only having a couple first now i am having tons. i really don't know what to do. my cardiologist says not to worry about the PVCs but i can't help it, i'm afraid that the PVCs will turn into a dangerous arrythmia, in fact i'm scared that the SVT will also turn into a dangerous arrythmia! I spoke to my cardiologist about the SVT and he assures me that the SVT is never going to be dangerous.
i have tried to post a question to the doc but just can't!! I just want to ask if these PVCs are dangerous? My cardiologist caught 5 on a monitor and says not to worry but that was before, now i am having at least upto 50 a day! sometimes i have 4-5 in a row. :(
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61536_tn?1340701763
I have SVT episodes myself, though mine are usually quite short and break by coughing hard or, if that fails, cold water on my face.  I've had them since I was 16 and I'm now 28.  They've become quite frequent lately.  Where they used to be infrequent and long, they are now more frequent but short.

I can't say how your SVT will affect you specifically, but I often feel the sensations you're describing, and usually independently of my SVT episodes.  I find anxiety is the largest culprit behind my SOB and dizziness.

Hope you find relief soon.
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Were you prescribed any meds after your episode? My fiance (also 27) complains that Toporol gives her a choking sensation.  I always thought it was a side effect of the Toporol but now it may be related to the SVT episode...can anyone confirm this?
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84483_tn?1289941537
The first question I would ask concerning a choking sensation while taking a beta blocker is a bronchospasm or if the patient is asthmatic, in general beta blockers are contraindicated in asthmatic patients though some persons that have asthma do well with no side effects on beta blockers, though they should be monitored closely , as far as i know metoprolol and atenolol are cardioselective and are least likely to exacerbate the symptoms of asthma in a asthmatic patient though all beta blockers can aggravate the condition. I'm not a medical doctor this is only my understanding, your fiancee should report her symptoms to her doctor.
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It has always intrigued me how SVT (assuming it is not aberrantly conducted) can cause the forcefulness of each beat to increase.  The conduction path is the same through the ventricles and exertion levels are the same, so it is interesting that this happens.  Of course, once it gets going and you stress about it then the adrenalin will incease the forcefulness of each beat, so I am talking about prior to anxiety kicks in.  Does anyone have any ideas on this?
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Anacyde -- Your posts always make me feel better.  I know you're not a doctor, but can you tell me if this is something you've experienced?

Two times recently, when I woke up in the morning, I was having PVCs every third beat.  This lasted for three hours, with no break.  My heart wasn't beating faster than usual -- about 70 bpm.  

Do you know what this is, and if I should worry when it happens?  The first time it happened I was out on the Isle of Shoals, a 30-minute boat ride to the nearest town.  The second time I was at home, and timed it -- 3 hours, just like the last time.  Every third beat, consistent.

Thanks for listening!
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170935_tn?1225374676
To debhaspvcs: i have experienced something like that too, i was getting missed beats every second heart beat but thank God not for that long, for about half an hour but it felt like forever. have you tried any meds for the pvcs? Do you have svt too?

to anacyde: i have read alot of your msgs and find it very assuring that you are able to break the svt yourself. How long was the longest episode of svt you have ever had? are you on any meds for the svt?

i would really like to know how many of you guys on this forum suffer both from svt and pvcs. i have had svt(undiagnosed) since i was 14 yrs old (27 now) but NEVER had pvcs. just recently i had a bad attack of svt which needed hospital treatment to convert back to sinus ryhthm since then i have started to have the pvcs constantly!
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Did they put you on a beta blocker after the SVT? I had shortness of breath after my SVT too, but it turned out to be the metoprolol they put me on to prevent another episode.  SOB is a somewhat common side effect of beta blockers.
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170935_tn?1225374676
Hi iAmEllen, did you find that the beta blocker helped to prevent another svt attack? if you don't mind me asking how often and long do the svt attacks last? i have an attack once every month and it can last for upto half an hour, once i had to go to the hospital and have them convert me back to sinus rhythm. Also do you suffer from missed beats? sorry i'm asking tons of qs! i've just recently been diagnosed with svt and pvcs and i'm really scared :(

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Avatar_n_tn
I can't say if the beta blocker helped or not because I quit it only several days after starting it as soon as I realized the tight chest started within 10 minutes after taking each dose.

Yes, I've had both SVT and PVCs for over 10 years.  I'm not dead yet, but after all this time they both still scare me.  I used to have frequent SVTs which lasted anywhere from several seconds to several hours.  These days I rarely have SVT but when I do I go straight to the ER rather than suffer.
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170935_tn?1225374676
how do they treat you when you go to ER? i only ended up in hospital once and they administered adenosine...wow! i'l neva forget that day.
95% of my svt attacks happen whilst i am sleeping, sometimes i think i wake up scared in the middle of the night and as i sit up in bed the svt kicks in. When do you have your SVT attacks, does something specific trigger them?
i've been told by one of the best cardiologists in europe that svt is not life threatening. i have even spoken to some of his patients who have had svt for decades and they are doing fine. I'm kind of dealing with the svt now but its the pvcs that scare the life out of me. my cardiologist once told me that a pvc could trigger svt.
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sb786 you're correct that PVCs are usually what trigger SVTs.  They treated me with Adenosine in ER, and I'm sort of glad to hear that you were traumatized by that because I definitely was as well.  That was probably the most frightening experience of my life.

I've had some nighttime SVTs.  My cardio also tells that they aren't life threatening, but they are extremely scary.  The PVCs are awful.  I've had an increase in the last week and I don't know why and it's really put me on edge.
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170935_tn?1225374676
I pray we don't have to go through that again. Have you ever tried the vagal manouvers, do they work? my cardiologists says you must not panic and started moving about. he suggests to lay down and try the vagal manouvers and if they don't work the first time just keep trying.
Whenever i have had a nighttime svt its always been within the first hour or so of sleep. i usually wake up startled and by the time i sit up in bed the svt kicks in.
did your svts start at the same time as the pvcs? i seem to get loads of pvcs straight after eating and when i lay down. i'm thinking about starting a beta blocker for the pvcs.
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170935_tn?1225374676
sorry forgot to write that the above msg is for iAmEllen
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What did Adenosine feel like to you?

My PVCs started a few years before my SVT but I've had both for at least 10 years.  It's interesting that you wake up startled within the first hour of sleep because I've had the exact same thing happen to me many, many, many times.  I have not been able to get rid of those weird nighttime attacks.  I wake up with my heart racing, panicked.  Usually it's not SVT but it has been on occasion.  And like you, it's ALWAYS within the first hour or so of sleep.  Very odd.
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170935_tn?1225374676
wow! cant believe there is someone else who has exactly what i have!! Adenosine was the worst feeling ever, i could actually feel my heart slow right down, i had a horrible crushing pain in my chest and my whole body felt very heavy!but it didnt last for long. I discussed adenosine with my cardiologist and he told me that its actually a natural chemical that our body produces!! how many times have you had to got to the hospital for treatment?
when you wake up startled what does it feel like to you? sometimes i think perhaps i was having a nightmare of some sort but i can never rember if i was? does the svt happen as soon as you are awake or does it take a few secs to kick in?
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Avatar_n_tn
I've only needed Adenosine once so far, thank god.  When I was a teenager I used to have very long episodes of SVT that I know now should have been treated but my parents were convinced they were just panic attacks so they never brought me in.

Anyway, with the nighttime things, I wake up with a start, very panicked and anxious, sweaty, and with my heart pounding.  I feel like I'm in danger.  I NEVER remember a dream right beforehand.  Every now and then I'm so panicked that I call 911, but I'm almost always calmed down by the time they get here and then I feel like an idiot.  Like I said, these night things have plagued me for so long.

I'm a little disoriented right as I wake up so I'm not positive, but I think usually when I have a nighttime SVT it starts a little bit after I wake up.  I think the adrenaline and pounding heart trigger it or something.
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170935_tn?1225374676
Thats exactly what i think that the adrenaline and the fact that i'm startled/frightned triggers the svt. i wonder if fright can trigger svt, i have heard alot of people say that stress can trigger svt but i'm not sure if fright can. last night i woke up because of missed beats i couldn't believe it. have you had pvcs whilst sleeping ever? If you don't mind me asking how old are you? i am 27?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have svt pvc's pac's and combinations of both for 7 years.  it is awful but I tried an ablation, didn't work for me.  I get awakened from sleep almost every night with extra beats.  I am on a lose dose of beta blockers and it has lessened the speed of my svt and made the long episodes lasting 30 minutes or more very rare.  I do however have short runs of svt every few days. I used to have svt wake me up from sleep 2 or 3 times a night.  It isn't that bad now.  Was hospitlized a lot the first year.  Try to tough it out at home when it happens because I have had enough of the emergency room and hospitals to last a life time.  Sometimes a hard cough will break mine.  I also have extra beats at times every 2nd or 3rd beat. Have tried most of the heart drugs with little success. Some actually made it worse and made me have pauses in my heart beat. I just don't think medicine has figured out a way to stop the extra beats. When it happens I try and tell myself I have been here so many times before and am still here to talk about it.  It is so life altering though and I have such compassion for anyone trying to live with this condition.  Anyhting that seems to change the blood flow in the heart will cause misbeats for me at times.  Eating, reaching over my head, bending over, lieing down. The thing that has helpe me the most is consistent exercising on the treadmill. One hour and 5 minutes 7 days a week. It lowered my resting heart rate 15 beats a minute and I don't go that fast just under 4 mph.  It's a fast walk. I think that is what really helped to cut down on the sustained svt (30 minutes or longer) I've been consistent at it for 3 years and the fear of returning to the days of rushing to the er every week is what keeps me doing it.  Good luck and Merry Christmas to all.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sb, I'm the same age as you.

I do sometimes have PVCs in my sleep.
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84483_tn?1289941537
Can't help but notice that the majority of us sufferers with PVCs, Pacs, and SVT have many things in common, including the triggers such  bending, reaching above one's head and eating, not to mention situations that cause stress and anxiety, but I find these positional triggers most interesting. Happy Holidays to everyone.
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16292_tn?1189759421
Add one more of us to the list.  My triggers are EXACTLY the same. Merry Christmas to you all. Take joy that Christ is King!
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170935_tn?1225374676
bama jane: wow! i thought i was the only one with these symptoms! its reassuring to hear that the beta blockers help lessen the speed and length of the svt.i just hope i can take a beta blocker as i have very mild childhood asthma. i think you might be onto something with the exercising i have heard someone else mention that too. what treatment they give you when you used to go to the hospital? what was your hear rate like? i'm sorry that your ablation didn't work.

it is indeed interesting that alot of us find that our pvcs are triggered by similar things yet we are unable to explain why! how frustrating!! happy hols and merry xmas to all :)
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97628_tn?1204465633
Actually PAC/PVCS were very simply explained on the other forum awhile back.
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84483_tn?1289941537
On the contrary, while the doctors basically understand the mechanism behind PACs and PVCs, know that nearly if not everyone has them, and for the vast majority of persons are not life threatening, their exact triggers and the arrhythmias themselves are still not very well understood by both doctors and patients alike, just as to why some persons are asymtomatic from them and others are very symptomatic, at least this is my personal understanding from information here and elsewhere.
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